Gus and Grandpa

books in this series

Gus and Grandpa and the Piano Lesson
Gus and Grandpa
Claudia Mills; Pictures by Catherine Stock
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

The tenth book in Claudia Mills' beloved series For Gus, the longest half hour of the day is spent practicing the piano. Why can't he be outside, shooting...


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Gus and Grandpa and the Two-Wheeled Bike
Gus and Grandpa
Claudia Mills; Illustrated by Catherine Stock
Square Fish

The fifth book in the beloved Gus and Grandpa series  Gus is unimpressed when Ryan coolly stops his sleek five-speed bike with the hand brake. But he's...


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Gus and Grandpa
Gus and Grandpa
Claudia Mills; Illustrated by Catherine Stock
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

"This wry trio of tales features an engagingly imperfect boy and his engagingly imperfect grandfather...Accommodating beginning readers, Mills's controlled and...


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About the Author

Claudia Mills

Claudia Mills

Some writers say that they hate to write. I love to write. I write my books early in the morning, while the rest of my family is still asleep. I get up at 5 a.m., fix myself a mug of hot chocolate or Earl Grey tea, and then curl up on the couch with my pad and pen. I still write the first draft of every book by hand, always on a white, narrow-ruled pad, and always with a black, felt-tipped, fine-point pen. Sometimes I lie there half dreaming, making notes on my pad that say things like "Help! Where is the humor??!!" or "I need more action!" Sometimes I scribble away as fast as my hand can move across the page, lost in the world of my story. I write until breakfast, or until my two boys wake up, whichever comes first. Usually I don't get much more than one page written in a day. But page by page, day by day, on the couch at dawn, I've written many books now.

I didn't always write on the couch, and I didn't always write with the same kind of pad and pen. When I was growing up in New Jersey, I wrote anywhere and everywhere  often during math class, which is why I never learned much algebra. When I finally collected all my childhood writings from my parents' house, I had a drawer full of hundreds of poems I had written before I was sixteen. There were poems scrawled on napkins, on the backs of church bulletins, and, of course, on math tests, where the answers should have been. But I have always loved the early morning best.

Now I live in Boulder, Colorado, with my husband, Richard Wahl, and my two sons, Christopher and Gregory. All my first books were about girls  show-off girls, shy girls, selfish girls, unselfish girls  but all somehow me, reflections of the girl I once was, and still am deep inside. Now I find myself writing about boys, too, inspired by the two real-life boys who share my days. When I was expecting the birth of my first child, I was stunned when the doctor told me it would be a boy: "But all my books are about girls!" "Well, now you'll have to start writing books about boys,"he told me, and his prediction came true.

I've also started writing stories about younger children, though most of my stories are set in the middle grades. I remember a poem I wrote the day before I turned ten, which began: "There is much magic in the
age / Of ten, that year as rich as gold…" Ten and eleven and twelve have certainly been magical and rich ages for me as a writer. When I go to schools, I tell the children that they could spend the rest of their lives just writing books about the things that happened to them in fifth grade.

So between 5 and 7 a.m. every day, I return to fifth grade, or sixth grade, sometimes even seventh, and, between sips of cocoa or tea, I bring that world to life again.

And I love doing it.

Claudia Mills

Official Sites

Catherine Stock
Claudia Mills and Catherine Stock have collaborated on the entire Gus and Grandpa series, including the ALA Notable Book Gus and Grandpa at Basketball. The author lives in Boulder, Colorado, and the artist lives in New York City.
Catherine Stock

Official Sites

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